White Sands Missile Range representatives and guests were present for a ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil a new T-1 Transmitter at the EMRE T-1 Facility Oct. 6.
“This ribbon cutting ceremony was a significant event for White Sands Test Center because it celebrates the delivery of a great piece of equipment, allowing us to test Army systems across the electromagnetic spectrum,” said WSMR Test Center Commander Col. Eric Rannow. “More importantly it signals the great work and collaboration that the Test Center is going to enjoy with PMX in the coming years.”
Also present was Col. Richard Haggerty, project manager, PM ITTS, for the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation. He and members of his staff had a chance to view a Chu-SAM mission at the Cox Range Control Center and also toured several testing facilities on post.
“As the new project manager it was an honor to be here today to witness one of our allied partners fire a live fire test event and also to come up here and break ground and do the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new capability,” Haggerty said. “It is definitely a partnership between us and White Sands, and I look forward to working with the team over the next three years.”
Electromagnetic interference is a concern when operating on the modern, often urban, battlefield. Power lines, cellular networks, commercial internet and television broadcasting, and even in home internet systems generate electromagnetic fields that can potentially damage or disrupt Army systems that rely on sensitive electronics or computers. Even other Army systems, with the increased need for networked and cyber systems will generate electromagnetic effects as a byproduct.
To ensure new Army systems can survive in the modern battlefield, and integrate with other Army and DoD systems, they must be tested by exposing them to similar conditions and effects. EMRE site is dedicated to such testing and the installation of the T-1 Transmitter site will provide WSMR with enhanced test abilities, providing test officers with the capability to expose DoD systems in development to similar conditions they might one day see in the field, and ensuring the systems will survive to see use by the Soldier.
“As the Army builds and continues to upgrade all of its capabilities it is invaluable to be able to put our weapon systems through the rigors of combat or what we anticipate they are going to be witnessing on the battlefield. To be able to do this in a test environment more diligently now it is going to save lives later,” Haggerty said.
“As we look out, there are several major CTEP projects that PMX is going to look forward to delivering to us and we will welcome receiving that capability. It’s a great day celebrating the equipment that was already delivered but more importantly the capability that is going to continue coming our way, allowing White Sands to be able to test department of defense equipment to ensure we have the best capabilities for our Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen as they go in harm’s way,” Rannow said.
The EMRE’s T-1 Transmitter site entails a 2,000 square foot building and consists of the T-1 Radio Frequency transmitter system, and an operators console with equipment and instrumentation to support electromagnetic environmental effects testing to the DoD standard using a single vertical antenna located next to a vehicle and large equipment turntable.
The transmitter system operates in the frequency range from 3 to 30 MHz at an output power of up to 50KW allowing the EMRE test site to provide the required field intensities to meet DoD requirements for average continuous power. The antenna and RF transmitter allow for even projection of electromagnetic energy over the turntable and allowing the testing of Army systems from tanks, to helicopters, and even smaller related equipment sets needed in systems of systems testing.
The generation of this kind of powerful electromagnetic radiation causes a lot of heat, so the system is supported by powerful automated cooling and air conditioning systems, designed to keep the transmitter at a safe temperature without the need for additional personnel to operate the equipment.
Rannow and Haggerty both came into the acquisition core at about the same time and have been to a number of different schools together. They both also served at the Pentagon at the same time.
“One advantage we have is that Col. Richard Haggerty and I have a friendship and we’ve been professional colleagues for the last dozen years. So I’m looking forward to levering that relationship to help him do his job, which is delivering capabilities to White Sands,” Rannow said. “I think it helps that he and I know each other and trust each other.”
Drew Hamilton contributed to this article.